By Wesley Hetcher
Every four years the nations of the world come together and submit their best respective athletes to compete in the Olympic Games. Similarly, on Saturday, May 17, the Outdoor Recreation Club accepted teams from around Lawrence to compete in their own version of the Games, with themed events and unique competitions.
Although the competitors may not have trained a large portion of their lives for events such as Grass Skiing or Backpack Relay, they still seemed to go after each competition with the same amount of determination and fervor to win. Sophomore Josh Mosley described it as “Quirky and fun. [A] different style of games that I’m not used to doing.”
The first activity organized was more team-oriented than many seen in the official Summer Games, with spray paint and white tee-shirts being supplied, along with stencils of various outdoors-type themes, including backpacks and squirrels. The teams of 4 then moved to the Quad for the Opening Ceremonies, and prepped for the first event.
Over the past 30 years, ORC has helped give Lawrentians the opportunity to enjoy unique outdoor experiences, around Wisconsin and the rest of the nation. They used the lessons taken from these trips to influence the different activities that students competed in. The races weren’t particularly extensive or difficult, but were definitely not something to expect from other groups on campus. They included the aforementioned Grass Skiing and Backpack Relay, Worm Races (inside of sleeping bags), and a final Team Tent Building.
The scheduled time was 1 p.m., but the opening ceremonies began more around 2 p.m. This didn’t faze those competing, though, and everyone involved seemed to have a good time. Because of the splendid weather, they weren’t the only ones on the Quad, but still found the room for rolling, crawling, and running towards victory.
However, they may have seemed a bit in the way of everything. Those not participating may have found it hard to understand just what was going on. Although the participants were all generally enthusiastic and eager to get underway, the staff in charge could have used a bit of preparation. “We’re just winging it,” said one such ORC member.
The overall atmosphere of the event was geared toward having fun, and a good time. It was a decent way of getting the ORC name to more students, and helped set an idea of what the trips could be like. Mosley emphasized, “It was a good way to let off some stress from the week and meet some new people.” At the end of the day, that’s what events like these are for.